As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him:…
We shall deal with the text —
I. BY WAY OF EXPOSITION.
1. The life of faith is represented as(1) receiving. This implies(a) the opposite of anything like merit.
(b) A sense of realization making the matter a reality. One cannot receive a shadow or a phantom, but only something substantial. While we are without faith Christ is a name or a history merely. By the act of faith Christ becomes a real person in our consciousness.
(c) Grasping it. What I receive becomes my own, so by faith Christ becomes my Christ. Look at some of the senses in which the word is used in Scripture, such as —
(d) Taking — we take Christ into us as the empty vessel takes in water.
(e) Holding — what we take in. A seive does not receive water. The life of faith consists in holding Christ within us the hope of glory. Believing. "He came to His own, and His own received Him not."(f) Entertaining. Thus the barbarous people at Melita received Paul. After we have found Christ we entreat Him to come in and sup with us.
(g) Enjoying. We read of receiving the crown of life, which means enjoying heaven and being satisfied with its bliss; and so when we receive Christ we enjoy Him.
(2) Receiving Christ. Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the dead life, etc.; but we have not only received these things, we have received Christ, both as Saviour and Lord, in His Divinity and humanity.
(3) This is a matter of certainty; and the apostle goes on to argue from it. It is not a supposition or a hope, or a trust, but a fact. "Ye have."
2. The walk of faith.
(1) Walk implies
(a) action. The reception of Christ is not to be made a mere thing of thought for the chamber. We must not sit down in indolence, but carry into practical effect what we believe.
(b) Perseverance; not only being in Christ to-day, but all our life.
(c) Habit. A man's walk is the constant tenor of his life.
(d) Continuance. It is not to be suspended. How many people think that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of Christ, and then they may be in the world all day.
(2) Christ is to be the element in which we are to walk. If a man has to cross a river, he fords it quickly, but just as we walk in the air are we to walk in Christ.
(a) As Christ was when we received Him the only ground of our faith, so long as we live we are to stand to the same point.
(b) We received Christ as the substance of our faith, and just as you then no more doubted the reality of Christ than your own existence, so walk ye in Him.
(c) Then Christ was the joy of your souls; let Him always be so.
(d) He was then the object of your love, and must be for ever.
II. BY WAY OF ADVOCACY. Suppose that having been so far saved by Christ we should begin to walk in some one else, what then?
1. What a dishonour to our Lord.
2. What reason is there for the change?
(1) Has Christ proved Himself insufficient?
(2) Can philosophy and vain deceit offer you a wisdom such as His?
(3) Do ceremonies tempt you? You have all that you can require in Christ.
3. What can your heart desire beyond God? Having Christ, you have God, and having God, you have everything.
III. BY WAY OF APPLICATION.
1. To those who complain of a want of communion. If it were worth your while to come to Him at first, it is worth while for you always to keep to Him.
2. To those who complain of a want of comfort. No wonder, if you do not live near the source of consolation.
3. To the inconsistent. When a man walks in Christ, he acts as Christ would act.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: